Daily Briefs

Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order, keeps some places closed

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan’s nearly 10-week coronavirus stay-at-home order Monday, letting restaurants reopen to dine-in customers next week and immediately easing limits on outdoor gatherings while keeping social-distancing rules intact.

The governor moved regions comprising 93% of the state’s population to phase 4 — “improving” — two weeks after she announced that northern Michigan could advance to that stage. Businesses where close contact is necessary, such as gyms, hair salons, theaters and amusement parks, will remain closed.

Retailers can reopen to customers without an appointment on Thursday and restaurants can offer dine-in service on June 8, with capacity limits. Children’s day camps and pools can open June 8. Groups of up to 100 can gather outside if they stay 6 feet apart, up from a threshold of 10 people. In-home services such as housecleaning can resume.

Whitmer said her goal is to shift the state to phase 5 — “containing” — before July 4.

“While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing, and encourage those who meet the criteria to get tested for COVID-19,” she said in a statement before a scheduled news conference.

Nearly 5,500 people have died from coronavirus complications in Michigan, fifth-most in the country.


Appeals court judge Swartzle will run for Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Brock Swartzle, a judge on the state appeals court, said he’s running for the Michigan Supreme Court.

Supreme Court candidates are nominated by political parties, although they don’t have a party designation on the ballot. Swartzle will seek the Republican nod.

Two seats will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The Democratic Party has endorsed Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Elizabeth Welch, a Grand Rapids-area lawyer.

Justices nominated by the Republican Party have a 4-3 majority on the court. Justice Stephen Markman, a Republican, is retiring.

Swartzle was appointed to the appeals court by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2017 and won election in 2018. He served as a lawyer and chief of staff in the Michigan House and also worked in private law practice.


Whitmer extends tax foreclosure redemption deadline to June 29

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last Thursday signed Executive Order 2020-106, which extends the deadline for Michigan residents to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure on their property during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to June 29, 2020.

Executive Order 2020-106, which takes effect immediately, extends the tax foreclosure deadline to June 29, 2020. The deadline was previously extended from March 31 to May 29, 2020.


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